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Sept 13, 2018 - Beginning of the End?

13/09/2018


Sail-World NZ e-magazine - Sept 13, 2018 - End of the Beginning?

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Hologram - America's Cup Overture - photo © Carlo Borlenghi


Dear Recipient Name


Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for September 13, 2018

The America's Cup bases Hearing by the Environment Court ended just before lunchtime on Tuesday, putting a bookend on what has been a fraught and acrimonious process that started almost as soon as Emirates Team New Zealand crossed the finish line on June 26, 2017 in Bermuda.

Like with the previous rendition of this Hosting exercise following the 1995 win in 1995, the Cup seems to become a Trojan Horse for all manner of development agendas, hoping to be fast-tracked.

In fact, this is the third time New Zealand has won the America's Cup. The first being for a period in the second quarter of 1989, when Justice Carmen Ciparick determined that San Diego Yacht Club should forfeit the trophy after the infamous Cat vs the Big Boat Match was sailed. While her decision was being appealed, New Zealand hardly missed a beat in preparing for the Defence.

Grant Dalton, CEO Emirates Team New Zealand Patrizio Bertelli, CEO Prada Group Marco Tronchetti Provera, CEO Pirelli - photo © Carlo Borlenghi
Grant Dalton, CEO Emirates Team New Zealand Patrizio Bertelli, CEO Prada Group Marco Tronchetti Provera, CEO Pirelli - photo © Carlo Borlenghi

Enabling Legislation was rushed through the New Zealand Parliament, a Minister for the America's Cup was appointed to get the facilities underway, and a Competitors Meeting was held in Auckland, attended by Challenger representatives and a gaggle of sailing and other media. A highlight of the trip was when the fast ferry packed with media and competitors ran aground at the entrance to Gulf Harbour - highlighting the fact that if that venue was going to be used then some dredging need to be done. That aside it was a great day making a loop around the Hauraki Gulf.

Auckland developed an incredible facility for the 2000 and 2003 America's Cups and then sold it off piecemeal.

Over the past 14 months, there have been around eight different schemes proposed by Team New Zealand, Auckland Council's Development arm, Panuku Developments, and the government via its agency the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, and anyone who wanted a news story. The situation reached a complete stalemate in the middle of March, with the only remaining option being for the America's Cup to be sailed in Italy.

But on March 26 a new scheme was proposed by Team New Zealand which seemed to suit the Government and Council's budget; would function as an America's Cup venue; and which would achieve the hidden agenda of getting the early removal of the used and disused fuel and hazardous substances tanks on Wynyard Point.

 (NZL) - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - Day 2 - September 12, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy
Sam Meech (NZL) - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - Day 2 - September 12, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy

The past five months have been spent fleshing out the detail on that scheme - a process which concluded at lunchtime on Tuesday.

Now it is up to the Environment Court to make a final determination as to the shape of the venue.

The first nine months or so were very acrimonious with a clash of agendas, costs, and some long-standing plans for the area being shafted. But as the Environment Court process got underway, all of the ill-will and rigid agendas started to melt away as the parties were forced to work through a mediation process and then tidy up the details by direct negotiation.

Then one by one the settlement agreements came through and the group which started out at over 40 parties of various status shrank to 20 at the end.

NZL - Day 1 - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Alex Maloney and Molly Meech - NZL - Day 1 - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

All that now remains is for the Court to make its determination and then the show should get underway. Much of the discussion and debate was over construction issues, given that the new facility will be built around existing business operations and residents.

The end game will be that Auckland will have its Viaduct Harbour, plus a new facility taking in half of Wynyard Point initially, and then the whole peninsular after 2025 when the last of the lease agreements run out on the current fuel and hazardous substances storage facility.

There's further development in the mix around the Orams and area known as Site 18 - all due to be turned into a superyacht servicing facility.

As happened in 1995 the arrival - "coming ready or not" - of the America's Cup provided the catalyst for a lot of rapid planning - with long-standing and much-argued plans and visions being pushed aside, which never goes down well with their promoters and vision-nannies.

 (NZL) - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - Day 2 - September 12, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy
Paul Snow-Hansen and Dan Willcox (NZL) 470 - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - Day 2 - September 12, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy

In the end, despite all the brouhaha Auckland is the winner. Two Cups - two facilities - and they should all work in well in an integrated but different way.

That, in turn, opens the door for other events to come to Auckland, now that there is the facility to stage them. In reality, the new stadium it will probably be used by other water sports other than sailing - unless new sailing events come along. But the other watersports don't have a lot of facilities - and are restricted to either blocking off beaches or boat ramps. One thing that did evolve from all the preliminary talk-fest was that around the waterfront, there was not a lot of "contact with the water" - the only two spots being Admiralty Steps and the steps adjacent to the Viaduct Events Centre.

Hopefully, this omission can be rectified to some extent in the detailed planning.

Another by-product of the Hearing process was the creation of a group - a Community Liaison Group - which meets regularly and has an input into the planning and future of the area. Again its composition is to be confirmed by the final Decision of the Court and any subsequent Appeal.

The stylish Luna Rossa base in Valencia at the time of the 2010 America's Cup - photo © Richard Gladwell
The stylish Luna Rossa base in Valencia at the time of the 2010 America's Cup would not comply with the restrictions proposed for the Auckland America's Cup venue - photo © Richard Gladwell

Also underway now is the Sailing World Cup at Enoshima, Japan.

The Sailing World Cup gets a mixed reaction - never coming out of the northern hemisphere, and operating as a stand-alone event rather than as part of an established regatta, plus it has never really caught the sailing fans imagination or interest.

However, this Sailing World Cup in Enoshima is different, as it is being sailed at the venue for the 2020 Olympics. As we've mentioned before, Enoshima was also the venue for the 1964 Olympics where New Zealand won its second Olympic Gold Medal in Sailing - and that set the scene for the international success that followed - giving Kiwis a sense of self-belief that they were good enough to compete and win on the international sailing scene.

Helmer Pedersen, a sailing contemporary of the great Paul Elvstrom, went on to compete in several classes, established a reasonably successful sailmaking business, and turned into something of a boat-whisperer. Anyone who heard that raspy, Danish accented voice, will never forget it. He was a straight talker as well - who didn't wait to be invited into a conversation if the had something to add. His crew Earle Wells enjoys that rare honour of being one of the few amateur boatbuilders to have built their own boat and then sailed it to win an Olympic Gold medal.

When seeing reports and images coming out of Enoshima and Sagami Bay, our mind flicks back to the memory that this is where it all began - and what will Sagami Bay yield 56 years on in 2020?

NZL - Nacra 17 -= - Day 1 - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders (NZL) - Nacra 17 - Day 1 - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / World Sailing

Follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on Sail-World.com by scrolling to the top of the site, select New Zealand, and get all the latest news and updates from the sailing world.

All stories are available on Sail-World.com/nz

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

 
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Close up of the control mechanism - Canting mechanism tested - Emirates Team New Zealand - Seotember 10,  2018 - photo © Emirates Team NZ
Close up of the control mechanism - Canting mechanism testing - Emirates Team New Zealand - Seotember 10, 2018 - photo © Emirates Team NZ
 
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 (NZL) - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - Day 2 - September 12, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy
Olivia Christie (NZL) - Sailing World Cup - Enoshima - Day 2 - September 12, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy

 
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Josh Junior (NZL) sailing in the Finn class on Day 1 of the Sailing World Cup, Enoshima - photo © Sailing Energy
Josh Junior (NZL) sailing in the Finn class on Day 1 of the Sailing World Cup, Enoshima - photo © Sailing Energy
 
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Canting mechanism testing - Emirates Team New Zealand - Seotember 10,  2018 - photo © Emirates Team NZ
Canting mechanism testing - Emirates Team New Zealand - Seotember 10, 2018 - photo © Emirates Team NZ
 
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Helmer Pedersen and Earle Wells won New Zealand's second Olympic Sailing Gold Medal at Enoshima in 1964 - photo © Sea Spray
Helmer Pedersen and Earle Wells won New Zealand's second Olympic Sailing Gold Medal at Enoshima in 1964 - photo © Sea Spray



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